At first, this year’s optimism surprised us. When we tallied the results of PwC’s 21st annual survey of chief executive attitudes, we found that company leaders around the world were enthusiastically bullish about the global economy. This seemed to clash with the continuous barrage of pessimistic headlines — reflecting, for example, geopolitical uncertainty, corporate misbehavior, and disruptive new technologies such as artificial intelligence. And yet the 2018 survey marked the greatest increase in general CEO optimism regarding overall worldwide prosperity that we have seen in the past seven years. When PwC global chairman Bob Moritz presented the results at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January 2018, the CEOs there largely agreed. In general, business leaders’ expectations of accelerating economic growth are genuine, broad-based, and linked to global economic fundamentals.
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